Rams linebacker Robert Quinn stood on the sideline and raised a fist during the playing of the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, continuing a practice he started last season.
But in this instance, punter Johnny Hekker put his arm around Quinn, who returned the gesture.
“Just a sign of love for my brother,” Hekker said after the game, adding, “That’s what it’s all about, just showing some solidarity.”
Last season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat or kneeled during the anthem to protest what he says is police brutality and racial oppression in the United States. Kaepernick is now an unsigned free agent.
Players from several teams this season have demonstrated during the anthem.
Raising a fist represents more than a protest, Quinn said, and is a sign of appreciation to the ancestors who made the way for him.
Hekker asked Quinn about his stance before joining him Sunday.
“I kind of explained to him why I do it and whatnot,” Quinn said. “He understood and I just think that just showed the message we’re trying to send is unity and hopefully we just keep spreading that and hopefully one day we can make the world realize what we’re really about and we’re all one people.”